NCB’s Big Children’s Centre Debate

LATEST: Children's centre survey report
A 2013 report from NCB shows that parents and practitioners greatly value children's centres and the services they provide to families, and that their continued funding should be secured.

The report based on a survey of over 200 practitioners and parents,, set out to discover what they value most about children's centres, and to establish where they feel resources should be targeted in the future.

Developing the future purpose for children's centres: findings from NCB survey of practitioners and parents [PDF 870 KB]

NCB Children's Centre essay collection

Children's centres are at the heart of most communities, providing a range of on site and outreach services to support young children and their families. With recent economic constraints, many centre's are not operating a full service.

In this a collection of essays, Partnerships for a Better Start: Perspectives on the role of children's centres [PDF 926 KB], Naomi Eisenstadt, Professor Edward Melhuish, Lisa Harker, Dr Ingrid Wolfe and Dame Clare Tickell set out their ideas on how children's centres could look in the future.

We very much want to see children's centres at the heart of the local community and wish to secure their future. We want your thoughts on how we define their future purpose.

Help shape the future of children's centres

Join the debate, leave a comment below.


Children's Centre Debate Comments

Children's Centre Debate Comments



  • Adrian Sell says: "A focus on conception to two is critical for later success in language acquisition, good behaviour and, ultimately, school engagement and performance. Early intervention with a focus on positive attachment is essential for Children's Centres alongside identification of who needs more intensive support."
  • Melanie Dopson says: "Early intervention needs to be at the heart of what we do. That means we need to be a universal service which sees all families and picks up on issues at an early stage when it is much easier to make a positive difference. This is how we will stop so many families becoming troubled families."
  • Ellen Genge says: "As a manager of a Children Centre that includes day care provision I wholeheartedly support the work that is carried out. We are in regular contact with many children and families. Universal provision enables many families to walk through our door. This allows staff to build positive relationships with families and identify if support is needed. We may offer the support required or help the families to access other relevant services. Yes, there is still much work to do but I truly believe if we are allowed to remain we will continue to see positive outcomes for children and families."
  • Carolynne McGaughey says: "Any new initiative takes time to get established and I feel we were just doing that when a new government for political reasons made changes to laws and requirements that have had a detrimental effect on what CCs can deliver. This has not been in the interests of families who we are trying to serve and a scandulous waste of money that started up our services. I just wish governments could stop looking to their own reputation and continue good things started by their predecessors, in this case putting our children first."
  • Fiona Kemp says: "As head of an integrated Children's Centre, Nursery School and child care service I am fully conversant with the successes of children's centre working. The families are supported through quality partnership working and we make a real difference to their life chances. We know our local families and work hard to get to know any new families into our reach area. We constantly evaluate outcomes for families and have evidence of real success. Children's centres provide essential early support under one roof in a local context that make sense to families. Evaluating CC success is a long term piece of work and helping troubled families to turn around certain aspects of their lives takes some years. I know CC are now getting to grips with their work and can deliver positive outcomes."
  • Dawn Spall says: "Childrens centres are diverting funding from early years setting which see the children daily. The money would be better spent at source and would have more of an impact on child and family."